Page images
PDF
EPUB

pared for a new definition, for each subclass becomes a new whole, - a whole just as the first class in the process is a whole, yet a part of a larger whole. Thus the process of exposition is an ever-recurring circle, which may be begun at any point and which will return to the point of beginning. The process may begin with definition and be followed up by comparison and contrast, and exemplification, until the class as a whole is clearly bounded and connected with some larger class. But examples may come first; these being described or narrated, comparison and contrast prepares the way for definition. This latter process is the order of learning — the chronological order, while the former process is the logical order. Which shall be the method of procedure must be determined by the purpose of the exposition and the condition of the mind addressed. After one or the other of the foregoing movements has been made, division will come next in order. Yet division may precede, reserving definition for each of the subclasses. Definition must always follow division. Besides,. exemplification, and comparison and contrast may precede, and prepare the way for, division, instead of following it. In fact, all processes move together until by necessity of formulation they must be thrown in a circle. It must be noted, however, that the movement is always back and forth from the individuals to the common principle which constitutes the individuals. This is the unity sought, and the foregoing describes the necessary movement of the mind in relating the two, - in seeing diversity in unity and unity in diversity. Neither can

be seen without the other. When the emphasis is on one the mind moves in one direction, and when on the other it moves in the other direction.

We may now formulate the movement in exposition thus:

THE GENERAL NOTION TO BE EXPOUNDED.
I. The content presented.

1. By definition.
2. By comparison and contrast.
3. By exemplification.

4. By idealization. II. The extent presented.

1. By division.
2. Each part treated as “ I.”

THE PROCESS ILLUSTRATED.

Construction. — Given the theme « Attributive Words."

1. Let the purpose be to give instruction - definite, scientific knowledge of the theme.

2. The unity of the individuals in the class is found in the content of the class, and this is set forth by definition, comparison and contrast, and exemplification.

Definition. Attributives are words which express attributes. The universal nature of attributives, that they express ideas, is given by referring them to the already known class, words. Thus the first law of definition, which requires that the universal nature of the class to be defined be presented by its reference to the whole of which it is a part, is obeyed. Let it be observed that this is the smallest class to which it can be referred. To refer attributives to objects would be a violation of the law of unity, since attributives are more closely unified with a smaller known class.

The particular nature of the class is given by stating what is expressed — attributes. This mark of attributives uniting with the mark which connects attributives with words forms the content of the class attributives. The first part of the definition — reference to the whole — presents the idea of a symbol expressing an idea; the second adds to the first the kind of idea — attributive. Symbols expressing attributive ideas is the full content.

Unity is secured by the choice of one common attribute, instead of choosing two or three, some including one part of the class and some another. Suppose it had been said that attributives are words that modify nouns or verbs, and are used as predicates. While this is true, it is not a definition, for it does not present the nature of the class under discussion. It is not essential to the nature of attributives that they modify nouns; if so, all attributives would have to do so, which they do not do. Thus with the other two marks given. Besides, instead of unifying the parts of the class, it distributes them, thus violating the law of unity.

Comparison and Contrast. —- This class can be compared and contrasted with only two others — substantives and relatives, for these, with attributives, constitute the whole class called words.

Attributives are like substantives and relatives in that they express ideas; they differ from substantives in that substantives express objects, while attributives express attributes ; they differ from relatives in that relatives express relation, while attributives express attributes.

In this comparison and contrast, the same mark of distinction is kept before the mind as presented in the definition, thus maintaining the unity of the whole, and further impressing the content of the class. Let it be observed that this process in its double form emphasizes both phases of the content — the universal in the comparison, the particular in the contrast.

Exemplification. In the sentence, “ A timely suggestion was very kindly received,” “ timely,” “ kindly,” and " was received” are attributives; each of them expresses an attribute. To call attention to the fact that “timely” expresses an attribute of an object, that “ kindly” expresses an attribute of an attribute, and that " was received” expresses an attribute of an object and also asserts, would be to violate the law of unity, for it breaks the class by giving marks that belong to different parts of it. None but the mark in each word which belongs to the class as a whole should be given.

Under other conditions of instruction the order of employing the three foregoing processes might have been reversed. First, several words of this class might have been observed and described, then compared and contrasted, and then the contrast thus determined presented in a formal definition.

Division. Next the content of the class must be presented by the process of division. This must be done so as to bind the parts together in the unity already established, — that is, the unity of the class must be preserved in the process of division.

The purpose being to give scientific knowledge of this subject, the basis of division must be the most fundamental attribute of the class. This, as stated by the definition, is expression. If there are subclasses they must be made on the basis of expression, if classes differing in this respect can be found. If not, some lower basis must be used.

Observing many attributive words, some will be found which express attributes of objects, others which express attributes of attributes, and still others which express attributes and also assert the attribute. While attributives are united in what they express, they are separated by some special phase of that expression. Thus there are three classes of attributives: (1) those which express attributes of objects, called adjectives ; (2) those expressing attributes of attributes, called adverbs ; (3) those expressing attributes and which assert, called attributive verbs.

The unity of the class is here maintained (1) through the selection and use of one essential basis of division ; (2) through the giving of parts in the order of their relation, the attributive verb being farther removed from the adjective than is the adverb ; (3) through the enumeration of all the parts which the basis determines.

This, followed with a treatment of each subclass as the whole was treated, completes the exposition of the class attributives.

« PreviousContinue »